How to Trade Work for Rest without Quitting Your Job

Photo by Christine Wagner, Creative Commons, Flickr.

Photo by Christine Wagner, Creative Commons, Flickr.

As a child reading Aesop’s Fable, The Tortoise and the Hare, I always cheered for the Hare.

Slow and steady has never been my thing. I like pedal to metal. I’m a multitasking maven. Just keep the coffee brewing.

I never really saw a problem with the Hare’s approach to life until a few months ago when I started to write a book—and failed.

I decided I would crank out 1,000 or more words a day, and I did for several weeks. But this isn’t the type of book you can write quickly, especially for someone like me, who’s never written a book.

Now I see the hare’s problem—all the running made him so exhausted he decided to take a nap before crossing the finish line. I totally get it.

I know how exhaustion can lull a person to sleep even when they’re awake, leaving them sleepwalking through the motions of life—the motions of parenting and marriage.


Last week the class I tutor at our homeschool co-op was assigned to narrate an Aesop Fable. When not one but two students chose to retell the classic parable and laud the tortoise for his leisure, I took it as a sign from God.

Maybe this book won’t unfold lickety-split. Maybe I need to slow down and seek rest.

So I have. I know if I’m going to finish this book, God will breathe it into my heart and provide the time to plant my bottom in the chair.

I’m done with trying to write it at a hare’s pace in my own strength, where my goals and good intentions can morph into the ugly two-headed monster of striving and selfish ambition.

I know one thing about trading my way for God’s way. When I do give up, it’s like a cheeky child turns back the hour hand on the clock.

I’ve found surrendering my time to God, multiplies my time.

Joy and peace flood our home—and overflow into my work. All of a sudden this writing life transforms from striving to the glorious exhale of rest.

The more I step and sway with the Spirit—learning His Divine rhythm and pace, the more I learn how to work from a posture of rest.

And this, my friends, changes everything.

Instead of the finish line consuming my thoughts, chewing up the in-between moments, I approach each task fully present. Laughter and concentration come easily, and so do a few jokes.

I think the tortoise knew all along he would cross the finish line—he never doubted it.

I, too, know this book will come, and I’m ok plodding through it slow and steady.

3 thoughts on “How to Trade Work for Rest without Quitting Your Job

  1. Such a timely post for me! I just published a devotional on this topic being present in your present and am also in the midst of writing a book. In it all, God has had me step away from the book to see some things. I actually began reading another book He led me to (I am in the midst of it right now) and just half way through He is speaking so loudly I now know why I had to take a break. You are so right on the money with this post. Love and light to you sister.

  2. Powerful post!! Love this: The more I step and sway with the Spirit—learning His Divine rhythm and pace, the more I learn how to work from a posture of rest.

    And I’ve written a few books, published and unpublished. They are all birthed differently. But they are birthed best without the pressure . . . praying for you to succeed!

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